September 19 to 23, 2011

–          Europe to step up pressure on Assad The Financial Times – 21/09/2011

European Union governments banned European businesses from making new investments in Syria’s oil industry and added several new entities and two individuals to a sanctions list on Wednesday. The sanctions, which will take effect on Saturday if formally approved in writing by the 27 member states by Friday, also include a ban on delivery of Syrian banknotes and coins produced in the EU.

–          Ayoon Wa Azan (Does Democracy in Any Arab Country Suit the United States?) Dar Al-Hayat – 22/09/2011

Every Arab revolution of rage, since Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation on 17/12/2010, had its own reasons, be they Tunisian, Egyptian, Yemeni or even Libyan. However, one thing is common among them all, and that is the hatred for Israel. The Egyptians attacked and broke into the Israeli embassy, having chanted against Israel in Tahrir Square before. The Jordanians held protests in front of the Israeli embassy in Amman, and Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador in Ankara for a ‘Palestinian’ reason, i.e. the raid against the Freedom Flotilla in the high seas to prevent it from reaching the Gaza Strip.

–          Harsh Words From Turkey About Israel, and From Iran About United States The New-York Times – 22/09/2011

Evidently heedless of American attempts to engineer a thaw in Turkish-Israeli relations, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey used his appearance before the annual General Assembly on Thursday to enumerate a long list of grievances with Israel, a former regional ally. Mr. Erdogan was the second major Middle Eastern leader addressing the General Assembly, with the widespread focus on the region’s most intractable problem, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,

–          Bill Clinton: Netanyahu isn’t interested in Mideast peace deal Haaretz – 23/09/2011

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is responsible for the inability to reach a peace deal that would end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, former U.S. President Bill Clinton said on Thursday. Speaking on the sidelines of the Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York, the former U.S. president was quoted by Foreign Policy magazine as claiming that Netanyahu lost interest in the peace process as soon as two basic Israelis demands seemed to come into reach: a viable Palestinian leadership and the possibility of normalizing ties with the Arab world

–          Surprise surprise? Saleh is back to Yemen Middle East Online – 23/09/2011

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh returned to Sanaa on Friday after more than three months of medical treatment in Saudi Arabia, even as his forces were battling dissident troops in the capital. Saleh’s surprise return was announced by state television. He arrived by plane in Sanaa at 5:00 am (0200 GMT), an airport source said.